Health Benefits of Ginseng - Energy, Stronger Immunity, and More
Different Types of Ginseng
To reap the health benefits of ginseng, three main species of ginseng plants are used, namely Asian or Korean ginseng, American ginseng, and Siberian ginseng.
American ginseng is known to contribute to Yin or feminine energy with qualities of shadow, cold, negative and female, and balances or clears up excess Yang or masculine energy in the body.
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A note about the Health Benefits of Ginseng - Energy, Stronger Immunity, and More
Herbs are God and nature's gifts to us. While the use of herbs and herb remedies has brought excellent results for many people, do note that their health benefits may be limited when they are used in isolation. However, when combined with some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition, the impact on one's health will be greatly magnified.
In natural health and healing, we believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases. We also believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Mans understanding. It is thus a good idea to apply these fundamental health steps no matter how remote or unrelated a health condition may seem.
East Asian or Korean ginseng promotes Yang energy which has the qualities of being hot, positive, sunshine and male. As you can see, the health benefit of Korean ginseng is very different to that of American ginseng.
Siberian ginseng is sometimes not considered ginseng at all, since its chemical composition is very different, and is very rarely used in herbal medicine.
Beneficial Compounds in Ginseng
The root is the part of the plant that is used medicinally to obtain the health benefits of ginseng. It is harvested only when the plant is about 4 - 6 years old. The ginseng root is dried and subsequently made into powder, capsules or liquid tincture like most herbal medications generally are.
The ingredients in the ginseng root that contribute towards healing are the chemicals saponin triterpenoid glycosides, or to put it more simply, ginsenosides.
Do note that, because the chemical structures and natures of the substances found in ginseng are quite complicated, different groups of researchers have actually coined different names for them, even though they might be referring to the same compounds.
For example, Japanese researchers called the active saponins they identified as 'ginsenosides', while Russian named these chemical compounds 'panaxosides'. The same substance found in American ginseng then has another name - 'panaquilins', apparently. Whatever the case, the main point we need to note is that the triterpenoid saponins are the ones which are largely responsible for the health benefits of ginseng.
Some Health Benefits of Ginseng
Both American and Asian / Korean ginseng are taken are taken orally as adaptogens, aphrodisiacs, nourishing stimulants and in the treatment of type II diabetes, including sexual dysfunction in men.
Research has shown that it has a specific affinity for the spleen and lungs. Therefore, ginseng is widely used as a tonic for the spleen, kidney and adrenal function, and lungs, and generically used as a restorative for vital energy in the body. In general, most people find ginseng energy boosting.
Traditional Chinese herbal medicine also uses ginseng for the treatment of various other wide-ranging conditions like asthma, weak pulse, hypertension, diabetes, insomnia, angina, congestive heart failure, lack of appetite, rectal prolapsed and heart palpitations.
In the western pharmacopeias, ginseng is listed as an energy booster and memory aid. It has also gained a reputation to being a sexual stimulant and an elixir for treatment of impotence. Many have found ginseng sex enhancing.
In addition, ginseng is commonly seen as a benefic in the area of gastrointestinal disorders, and also a promoter of long life.
Although these claims of the health benefits of ginseng may seem very generic and have not been studied in clear quantifiable forms in laboratory experiments, most studies have registered marked improvement in energy, memory functions and performance, especially when individual has complains of tiredness and listlessness.
Ginseng is also frequently used for skin problems. Ginseng is used in natural skin care products for its toning and vitalising effects on the skin. Ginseng helps to balance the oil gland production and improves the skin texture by preventing the formation of wrinkles. Hence, it is used in skin care creams, lotions, toners, etc.
Of course, to achieve the desired health effects of ginseng, and to ensure the efficacy of ginseng products, top quality sources of the herb must be obtained. This can be a great challenge, in view of the influx of substandard ginseng supplements available in the market today.
More information on various ginseng health benefits is discussed in the other related articles.
Ginseng Pages | Ginseng Plant - History, Facts and Information on the herb | Ways of Obtaining Ginseng Benefits - Methods of Consumption | Health Benefits of Ginseng - Energy, Stronger Immunity, and More | More about Health Benefits and Effects of Ginseng | Possible Ginseng Side Effects, Caution and Contraindications
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